Hollin Hall NT

Hebden Bridge

Site Details:

Recorders:    Hardcastle Crags Survey Group                            Distance 2040m               Altitude 222m                 Walk Time approx 1hr 15mins

The mixed woodland, ponds, streams and meadows makes it  one of the best wildlife spots in the Pennines for nature watching The locals call the area 'little Switzerland' due to its Alpine style terrain and a wealth of wildlife from birds to bugs. The whole area is densely wooded especially the steep valley sides, with the landscape being characterised by deep rocky ravines, falling streams and wooded areas. Halfway up the valley are the 'Crags' which are impressive stacks of millstone grit, a 'must see' for geology lovers. Hardcastle Crags is well known as the home of the Northern Hairy Wood Ant which lives in huge anthills with nests as large as six feet tall. It also has some fine Meadows


S1 is one of the meadow areas and is a particular favourite with Meadow Browns, Gatekeeper, Common Blue , Small Skipper and  Orange tip but  also the whites. White-letter hairstrak was spotted in S1

 S2 and 3 goes into woodland and is favoured by Speckled woods. 

S4 is another good meadow area and is favoured by Ringlets and Small Heath in particular along with Small Copper and Small Skipper and occcasional Vanessid. 

S5 is also favoured by Ringlet  Speckled Wood and Green-veined whites plus this is where Green Hairstreaks are sometimes seen. 

Results 2022

County wide 2023 results reflect  the 2022 Heat and drought  with Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock nearly halved for the second year against their 5 year average. Red Admiral arrived in force in July and took advantage of soft nettle growth of the rains and had their best year ever. Drought sensitive species on thin soils were badly hit,  particularly Dark -green Fritillary and Northern Brown Argus but also Ringlet, Green-viened White and Small Heath.  Less drought affected species along with the hottest June on record built even more on gains last year leading to Comma, Brimstone, Holly Blue and most Browns  having a fantastic year reaching all time highs. A increase of 9% overall was mostly due to sheer numbers of Meadow Browns and Gatekeepers ment 2023 nearly pipped 2014 as best year in modern times.  Most noticeable was the large differeces between moisiture retaining mineral soils of the valleys and thin, dry limestone or sandy soils. A large number of damp grassland, hedgerow and woodland  dominated sites benefitted hugely with 3 sites seeing more than 50% increase . A smaller number of thin, chalky, sandy or craggy sites did badly some down up to 25%.

Hollin Hall saw a increase in overall numbers inline with teh county average and close to its 2019 high point.  Species trends were also very similar to the county trends.  Biggest winners were Red Admiral,  Comma  and Speckled Wood all of which had  their best year ever in Yorkshire. Ringlet along with the drought sensitive GV White, and Orange tip  were well down  Small Tortoiseshell had another very poor year. county.  Great to see Wall increase as across most of the county had a poor year . Meadow Brown was largely responsible for the increase in overall numbers and Ringlet for most of the losses

Transect reports

Results 2022

A good year  13$ higher counts and only a bit down on the recent highpoint in 2019. 

Skippers were up with the large Skipper reappearing along with Common Blues . The Whites were up although Orange Tip was down quite a bit . 

Red Admiral showed a big increase ,while, as everywhere else, both Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock saw a decrease especially the later which in most places had a disater with almost none  seen from late June onwards.  Speckled Wood and Wall were well up as with eleswhere  and Gatekeeper had a good year and Meadow Browns boomed while Small Heath dropped away significantly as it did in most localities. Ringlets held their own slightly up on teh last two years.